Elena Lee
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Elena Lee

Relating to the past

Elena had always enjoyed her history classes, but it wasn’t until coming to Northwestern that she really discovered a passion for the past. She appreciates the research experience she’s gained while working alongside professors and library staff, and she hopes to someday work at a school library where she can help students access resources and grow in their understanding of the world.

Something for everyone
When I first explored the possibility of coming to Northwestern, I was really impressed with its well-roundedness. I could get a quality education, participate in a competitive fine arts program, have student leadership opportunities, and grow in my faith. I did not have to sacrifice any of my interests to come here and was able to continue to grow in each of them.

Connecting to history
I love that I get to learn about the past and its trends, connect with people who lived hundreds of years before I did, and shine light on people and places that have been forgotten by time. By studying history, I can build empathy with people I will never meet and learn from events that I never saw.

More than memorization
Every history class is centered around critical thinking, inquiry, and research, so instead of memorizing names and dates that I will only forget, I get to practice skills that will tangibly impact my future vocation. Northwestern’s history department is very hands-on, with lots of reading, writing and learning from local people in historical fields of work. I am constantly discovering how to better interpret and interact with the past.

Tea talks
Another place of learning for me has been Dr. Kaltwasser’s “Tea Time” on Mondays. We discuss theological and spiritual matters in our own lives, but also in the world. This experience has given me a chance to hear others’ perspectives and learn how to articulate my own, as well as grow closer to God and the people around me.